tv The Situation Room With Wolf Blitzer CNN March 8, 2012 4:00pm-6:00pm EST
come back when we have an update. open invitation to you. >> absolutely. >> thank you for watch. now to wolf blitzer. "the situation room" starts now. thanks, brooke. the fight shifts to the deep south. rick santorum and newt gingrich are turning to conservatives, but they may be turning on each other. we have a hollywood -- upcoming film narrated by tom hanks. will this glossy production help voters forget worry about headlines. sglooch will the north's new leader honor that agreement? i'll ask bill richardson. he as here. i'm wolf blitzer you're in "the situation room."
the battle lines are drawn in the deep south. upcoming primaries in alabama and mississippi next tuesday may be the last chance for mitt romney's rivals to halt his momentum. rick santorum would love to go one on one with him, but night gingrich may have a different story. joe johns is watching all of this for us. >> reporter: wolf, rick santorum just finishing up an event, and he's expected to head to mobile, alabama later tonight. this is a situation where he has already proven he can win in the south by winning tennessee. the fact of the matter is newt gingrich is such a strong presence here.
>> reporter: in this speech santorum is suggesting there's a third man in the race besides mitt romney, but doesn't go much further than that. >> if you go out and deliver a conservative victory for us on tuesday this race will become a two-person race, and when it becomes a two-person race for the republican nomination, the conservative will win that nomination. >> reporter: but if you ask santorum directly about whether he or anyone on his campaign staff is calling for gingrich to get out, he'll tell you no way. >> if they're doing so, they're not doing so at my knowledge. let's put it that way. i've been very clear on my position on this. are we asking people who are tea party folks to join us? you bet. do we want them not to support newt? yes, we want them to support me.
i want romney voters, everyone to support us. that's what we're running for. if someone from my campaign is putting out that message, they're either misinterpreting it or certainly not coming from me and i don't support it. i mean, i've been very, very clear, unequivocal about this. >> reporter: still, the rick santorum super pac has flatly called for gingrich to leave the race. what is going on is santorum wants to be nice about it, because he and gingrich are going after some of the same voters. >> given how far behind he is with mitt romney, it looks like that path continues to dim every day, which is challenging for his campaign to overcome, because they need about 65% of the delegate still available, so the path probably doesn't exist. if it does exist, it needs to start with real wins and in a hurry. >> reporter: gingrich seems fairly unfazed, though it's plainly evident he needs to win
in alabama and mississippi to remain credible in the race. >> we are staying in this race, as i believe it's going to be impossible for a moderate to win general election. what's interesting is how much buzz he's creating. our friends at twitter tell us the conversation on twitter about santorum spiked four higher than any of the other candidates on super tuesday, and just the hour between 6:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. pacific time, there were nearly 40,000 tweets, referencing rick santorum, which is a new 2012 election. the previous highest spike, if you will, belonged to newt gingrich on the day of the south carolina primarily. >> thanks very much for that, joe. mitt romney concedes that campaigning in the deep south is like playing an away game to
him, his words. our chief political analyst gloria borger is joining us. what is the main problem that mitt romney has in the south? >> he can't win. he really hasn't been able to have a win in the deep south. i think it really highlights the problem he has with what i call the base of the base of the party. in the deep south, you have voters who are evangelical, who self-identify as strongly conservative. they now comprise the real core of the republican party. so every time he doesn't win in the south. it only highlights the approximate. even if they don't win, they don't want -- smack in the middle of a republican --
>> and the santorum folks would like to see nothing better than see gingrich lose. >> they would like to see him drop out, as santorum said himself, we're not asking anybody to step out. i talked with a top adviser from the campaign who said the same thing, but he did point me in the direction of richard vigary, a real conservative who said newt leaving, quote, would be an act of patriotism, and also tony perkins, head of the family research council who said that newt gingrich could become, quote, a king maker if he were to drop out and support santorum. by the way, it wouldn't do any good. >> romney wants them both to stay in to they fight each other. >> if they're not both going to get out, it may help romney for both of them to day in. they will divide the conservative vote, but the
romney campaign has been saying, look, the math is inevitable, we are going to win, but you know, they don't want to be seen crawling across the finish line, which is in fact what could occur, wolf. and really make it a hotly contested race. i think the romney folks are anxious for the illinois primary to come around. >> they have some other things. thanks very much. jack cafferty has "the cafferty file." >> indeed, thank you, wolf.
politico reports that lawmakers young and old are leaving for the private sector because, quote, the thrill is gone. they say it's just too hard to get things done with the gridlock in washington. republican senator olympia snowe made a splash with news about her retirement, highlighting the dysfunction and political polarization in the senate. democratic congressman barney frank said he's frustrated because the public no longer tolerates deal-making. retiring congressman dan warren tells politico, quote, i'm used to being a player, you want to get things done for your constituents. why are you doing this? for some lifers, the job just isn't as prestigious as it used to be. plus these days, nobody likes them very much. they can't earmark money for constituents. they need to maintain residences in two cities. fund-raising is a headache, and a lot of perks have disappeared, thanks to those pesky ethics
laws. ah. and their pay has frozen for three years at $174,000 a year. they work about half a year. not quite a hardship for millions of other americans who deal with extended high unemployment, soaring gas prices, plummeting house prices, you want more? others cite the constant media presence. they worry about having any little thing they say or do splashed 09 internet. would you want to be a member of congress? some of them say the job sucks. go to cnn.com/caffertyfile and post a comment on my blog, or go to our post on "the situation room's" facebook page. tough to gin up much sympathy for them. sympathy -- by the way, i can't tell you where sympathy is found. >> i know, jack. thank you. a lot of folks probably agree with you. they're voting on the floor on the keystone oil and gas
pipeline the vote is under way. if they vote for the construction, it would be a major political embarrassment for the united states, who wants further study of the keystone pipeline about of it gets the construction go ahead. we'll watch this. dana bash is up on the hill. we'll let you know what's going on, a significant vote. meanwhile, the obama campaign recruits some of the biggest names in hollywood for a new documentary campaign film. also new threats from north korea are raising serious questions about the problem to freeze nuclear activity. we'll talk about that with bill richardson. he's been to north korea on several occasions. stand by. out. sweet. [ female announcer ] with charmin ultra soft, you can get that cushiony feeling you love while still using less. charmin ultra soft is designed with extra cushions that are soft and more absorbent
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glee supposedly to halt nuclear activities in exchange for american food. officials have been working out the details of the aid shipment to the u.n.'s nuclear watch dog is hoping to get its inspectors back in. what about all these threats. what's going on in north korea? joining us is the former new mexico governor, many former ambassador to the united nations, the diplomatic troubleshiiter, bill richardson.
>> they say they will. today there was an announcement we're resuming the recoveries programs of our resgloolts because they were isolating them. now they're engaging. there's no preconditions. >> you're always one of those that's talking better than talking. >> you and i went there. i believe our trip helped stop them from 'gressively going after them.
you saw the cover of the "time" magazine, a picture of the new leader. what do we know about this. is he really in control? is he just the son that took over, but there really are other powers there? but he is still the -- and i think they're grooming him. the good news is -- the once that you and i met are still there. there's a track to diplomacy so there's more engagement, a good talk between the american negotiator and the north koreans and beijing. >> when they did they exercises
last week what was a that all about? >> it's bluster. i'm not apologizing. what i'm saying is the bluster tends, but the dialogue seems to be churning in a positive way. they did commit to freezing -- >> how much is that commitment, that new agreement related to this anniversary. how many do you think is related to that? they want to invite all sorts of people. >> it's sort of the anniversary of the a lot of it is pr, but at the same time they're engaging, they'll be taking to the south koreans, i they very soon. now, iran is another story, but north korea engaging them is
working. >> if you go bark to north korea it's one thing but if the administration sends an official, it's something else. what would you recommend? >> i would recommend that they -- i would proceed with food aid. i would watch them on whether they were going to continue to put a moratorium on the nuclear activities on the i don't think pyong reactor. watch them, but at the same time engage. then get south korea involved get russia, china and japan and the understand to reengage. that's what i would do. >> the new governor susanna martinez, you think she's
potential a vice presidential? what do you think about her? do you think that's realistic, that she could be the running mate for, let's say, a mitt romney? >> i'm not going to engage too much on that. i am concerned if romney puts a hispanic on the ticket. i think it probably will be marco rubio, but i think the administration and president obama has very strong hispanic support, what he's doing on the appointments on civil rights and immigration, i think the republicans are too boxed in, too looked at as antiimmigrant, but i worry about rubio. >> i want you to stay around for a move. stick around for this. >> i want to go right to our dana bash, a very significant vote on the floor of the united
states senate the pipeline on the line right now. tell our viewer what's going on. >> reporter: the senate defeated a republican measure to defeat despite what the president -- the vote was 56-42. they needed 60 votes to pass this, but what is also significant is that republicans got, by my count, 11 senate democrats to defy the president across party lines and vote for this. if you look at the list of the democrats, many of them are in tough elections this year, many of them are in oil-producing states, some of them are in states where this pipeline could come through, and have been hearing from people back home this is, as republicans say over and over again, a jobs bill. this was not clear-cut. pretty tough policies for democrats, at the end of the day -- >> it's an embarrassment to the president of the united states. 11 democrats defied the president or 12? >> reporter: by my count i have
11, but we were listening as they go along. we'll wait until we can see the final roll call. it depends on who was here. by the math it could have been 12. we'll let you no el in a bit. >> quickly to bill richardson, that's an embarrass innocent to the president, even though they had didn't get the necessary 60 votes, still an embarrassment so many democrats defied the president? >> nonetheless i think the president's in the right position. what he's saying is you have to go through the environmental studies, nebraska doesn't w57bd this. the congress or the senate republicans have been trying to jam the president, saying make the decision. what the president is saying, i'll make the decision after the environmental studies. i think the fact that the president temperaturically won the vote is good, but the republicans will keep using this
issue. vinchts governor, thanks for coming in. >> thank you. we'll talk to you before you head back to north korea. maybe i'll go with you. it has the look and feel of a blockbuster, but really an obama campaign film. >> as he walked out of room, it dawned on me, he's all alone. this is his decision. nobody is standing there with him. >> we're going to get a first look at the trailer, what the republicans are saying about it as well. stay with us. this is lawn range- eden prairie, minnesota. in here, the landscaping business grows with snow. to keep big winter jobs on track, at&t provided a mobile solution that lets everyone from field workers to accounting, initiate, bill, and track work in real time. you can't live under a dome in minnesota, that's why there's guys like me. [ male announcer ] it's a network of possibilities -- helping you do what you do... even better.
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an important vote on the floor of the united states senate just occurred, a vote designed to create the construction of a new pipeline from canada to texas. the keystone pipeline that will carry oil from canada through the united states. dana bash is our chief congressional correspondent. the measure failed, didn't get the necessary 60 votes for passage, but a whole bunch of democrats defied the president and voted with the republican. >> reporter: by our count, still 11 democrats still voted with the republicans. we're still trying to get an official count, but the bottom line is they did that even though the president himself made calls, trying to lobby for the democrats not to vote for this. the politics are very interesting. democrats decided that the white house made a political stake in this. they decided this is a political issue that's important to stand up on. that's why they said if you want
this political fight, the president himself has to make the calls. that's exactly what happened. the republicans saw that, and they jumped big time. they accused the president of making calls and lobbying against jobs. >> personally lobbying against the keystone pipeline, that means lobbying for sending north american energy to china and lobbying against american jobs. >> that line right there is why it's different -- they're not necessarily against the keystone pipeline. they just don't want to approve anything until the actual route is designed. when that's done, maybe they'll decide to do it. the senate requires 60, even if the republicans got a dozen or so democrats to join them, didn't have enough to get to
that 60 threshold. thanks, dana. we're also getting a first look at a trailer of an upcoming campaign film, called "the road we've had traveled." it's a 17-minute film of the -- it's narrated by tom hanks. take a look. >> how do we understand this president and his time in office? do we look at the day's headlines? or do we remember what we, as a country, have been through? >> the president elect is here in chicago and he's named the members of the economic team. they all fly in for the first big briefing on the economy. >> what was described in that meeting was an economic crisis beyond anything anybody had imagined. >> in our time of standing pat,
of protecting narrow interests and putting off unpleasant decisions, that time has surely passed. >> his advisers would ask where to begin, which urgent need would he put first. >> which is one, which is two, three, four, five? where do you start? >> if we don't do this now, we'll be a generation before 30 million people have health insurance. >> if the auto industry goes down, what happens to america's manufacturing base? what happens to jobs in america? what happens to the whole midwest? >> entire national security apparatus was in that room. now we had to make a decision, go or not go. as he walked out of the room, it dawned on me, he's all alone.
it's his decision. nobody is standing there with him. ♪ all right. that's a little bit of the documentary, a little bit of the obama campaign documentary. let's discuss it with our cnn white house correspondent brianna keilar. what jumps out at me in this trailer is the opening line by tom hanks -- do we look at the day's headlines? or do we remember what we as a country have been through? is the campaign really worried that all the day-to-day headlines are really going to drag down the prospects of the president getting himself reelected? >> reporter: i think, wolf, if the campaign had his way, that would not be the metric by which they would want voters to judge president obama, they see him
trying to create enthusiasm and excitement, rand really kind of a mood by evoking some of these iconic and historic moments that have happened in the obama presidency, especially as polls show, the campaign is facing an enthusiasm gap compared to what they had in 2008. i asked jay carney today about this strategy of perhaps avoiding headlines. he laughed off the suggestion. -- narrated by tom hanks oscar-winning director. is the everyday defense of the president's record not getting through? >> are you suggesting i'm no tom hanks? [ laughter ] >> i would refer you to the campaign. i think as a matter of broad principle, as someone in the communications business, as you are, that we take advantage of every opportunity we can to
explain the president's policies, explain his positions, describe his vision for the country moving forward. that would apply both as i discuss those matters of policy from here, and i'm sure -- not speaking for the campaign, but i'm taking a wild guess that that's the approach they take. >> reporter: so jay carney jokeses about the approach, wolf, but some republicans certainly aren't, a spokeswoman for the rnc saying voters don't need a movie trailer or documentary to learn about the president's records, blaming him for unemployment -- the unemployment rate, the national debt and for high gas prices, wolf. >> brianna is at the white house. thanks very much. let's discuss this a bit in our strategy session, joining us robert wexler, also joining us our own cnn contributor republican strategist mary matalin. what do you think about this? why is the campaign looking at a very impressive documentary about this?
my own gut tells me it's designed to energize that base. he really needs them tore energized for this documentary to go viral. >> yes, you're right, wolf. he has an enthusiasm gap as was just reported. they will respond to that. it harkins back to celestial being days, but the voters he needs, i'm not saying this as a partisan. i find it strikingly discordant against the back drop of record unemployment and underemployment, rising gas prices, a striking discord against the problem of this presidency and three years -- i feel like it's going to backfire and i think voters will be disappointed to this approach, when they're hurting every single day. i think it's terrible. >> robert wexler, go ahead and
respond to that. >> i think it's not only appropriate for the president and his campaign to put in context with the events of the last three years, but it's actually compelling. it was not a forgone conclusion that the stock market would be at almost historic highs. it wasn't a forgone conclusion that the automobile industry in america would have great promise and a real future. it wasn't a forgotten conclusion that we would have almost two years of straight growth in the private sector in america. i think as voters then take stock, they will realize, as the decision that actually this president has made a series of bold decisions now paying off in significant real-life ways for most americans. >> i will say this, tom hanks certainly has a great future as a narrator of documentaries if
the acting thing doesn't work out, maybe he'll go into that down the road. stand by for a moment. we'll continue this conversation, mitt romney comparing it to playing an away game. the front-runners have big primaries coming up. how will he fare against his conservative rivals. [ male announcer ] this was how my day began. a little bird told me about a band... ♪ an old man shared some fish stories... ♪ oooh, my turn. ♪ she was in paris, but we talked for hours... everyone else buzzed about the band.
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it has its primary on saturday, but he's decided not to go to kansas, to devote all his energies to alabama and mississippi. >> reporter: you'll recall on super tuesday mitt romney had a good night, but he failed to knock his opponents out of this race, so mitt romney may by up in delegates, but campaigning down south where his rivals have a chance to play serious catch-up. the form ever massachusetts governor told a birmingham radio station he's not exactly on his home turf. >> how important is it? >> i believe it's a bit of an away game, but i also think we'll pick up some support in the states that remain. >> reporter: translation --
delegates. >> that's, of course, that's what this is all about. >> there's a dividing line. >> reporter: inside this diner, we found two men, one from alabama, the other from alabama, divided on the subject of romney. what do you think about mitt romney? >> pretty boy, intelligent, he's got a business background. i like that. >> reporter: you say he's a pretty boy? >> i can't get away from the feeling that he thinks he looks like the president more than he will be one. >> we don't mind if he's moderate. i think that's what it's going to take. the business line is definitely what washington needs. >> reporter: you might vote for him? >> i might. >> it is a bit of an away game. >> former huckabee campaign manager has dubbed this march madness for romney, because several states on the calendar are not exactly tailor-made for a new england republican, but there's a danger for rick
santorum and newt gingrich, too. >> i think what we're going to find out over the next couple weeks is how much santorum and gingrich hurting each other. i think the early polling, they're almost split down the middle, which gives romney an opportunity to win one of these states. >> if you go out and deliver a conservative victory for us on tuesday, this race will become a two-person race. >> reporter: santorum is putting the pressure on southern voters to stop romney. >> conservative alabama, the heart of conservatism. >> cannot fail us. >> gingrich is looking to the south to help his -- and he's willing to get his hands dirty
pumping gas. >> reporter: when is the last time you pumped gas? >> about a week ago. >> reporter: the romney campaign has a national, you might say even a global plan to offset any delegate losses down south. they're looking to pick up some wins even in u.s. territories going as far as to send mitt's son matt out to guam for the search for voters. the longer the fight for this gop nomination, the longer the flights, you might say. we're in pascagoula, mississippi. just over my shoulder are some drilling rigs, offshore drilling rigs staged right behind mitt romney when he talks to voters here in mississippi in just about an hour from now. you'll expect him to go after the president, after democrats on this issue of the keystone pipeline. he'll be talking about developing domestic forms of energy. >> i always think of trent lost,
the former senator from mississippi. is he expected to show up? >> reporter: he is not expected at this event. he is expected to be campaigning with mitt romney tomorrow morning. as you know, former senator lott is a supporter of mitt romney. it's a business endorsement to mitt romney, as you well know. >> that's his hometown, pascagoula, for senator lott. part 2 of our strategy session is coming up. mary matalin and former democratic congressman robert wexler is standing by. coming up in our next hour, an african warlord thanks to a viral video. it's now under scrutiny. stand by for that as well. you ready? we wanna be our brother's keeper. what's number two we wanna do? bring it up to 90 decatherms. how bout ya, joe? let's go ahead and bring it online. attention on site, attention on site. now starting unit nine. some of the world's cleanest gas turbines
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we're back with former democratic congressman robert wexler of florida, also republican strategist mary matalin. mary, why is it an away game, as romney himself calls it, for the competition in alabama and mississippi, an away game for him. he's from michigan and massachusetts, but not necessarily an away game for rick santorum. i believe he's from pennsylvania. >> obviously a figure of speech.
we take a step back, he's won the most states, the most delegates. he has the most money. these are -- some of these states are proportional. he has big endorsements. he has a lot of support in alabama. he'll continue to accrue delegates. that's what he's trying to do. he's trying to win the nomination. i happen to be one of those that thing a long process is just fine. so long as they stay on message and they contrast our message with a failed report of this president. i think it's fine and we march through the south. i'm in louisiana. we're in the south. let me tell you, it still will be a context here implts robert wexler, who is a more formidable challenger to the president's reelection, rick santorum or mitt romney?
they're both formidible. i am struck by his moment of honesty. president obama is from chicago, illinois is his home state with hawaii. he won in the 2008 general elections, they weren't away games for him, and he won in florida as well, which is not a deep south state. if a republican nominee is going to compete effectively in november, certainly north carolina and virginia, and florida will have to be areas where they can extract, for instance, in florida and the panhand panhandle. >> how can he do that, mary? >> at least not yet. >> i can guarantee and i'll bet congressman wexler a great
jambalaya dinner right now, whoever the nominee, i believe it will be mitt romney, and he's going to win virginia and north carolina, and that's why you see the team freaking out and making so many trips to the states. barack obama is weakest in every one of the weak states. there won't be a state in the south that isn't going to go for mitt romney. we're talking about accruing delegates now, but if we're talking general election, the president wouldn't be pulleting out that film if he wasn't concerned about not only his face, but swing voters. >> very quickly, robert. >> i would be happy to bet my friend mary at the end of the day barack obama will have the necessary electoral votes to win reelection. florida, north carolina and virginia will be among them. >> we'll see who wins that dinner, whether it's florida or louisiana. a deadly shooting inside a pittsburgh hospital. new information is coming in.
also what do jerry seinfeld, toddlers, people with high cles real, mitt romney all have in common? guess what? you will find out here in "the situation room." i think it's a cool car. i think it's stylish and it makes a statement at the same time. and i've never had a car like that. people don't totally understand how the volt works. when the battery runs down the gas engine operates. i don't ever worry about running out of battery power... because it just switches over to my gas engine. i very rarely put gas in my chevy volt. i love my chevy volt and i've never loved a car. ♪
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advaircopd.com. mary snow is monitoring other top stories in the "the situation room" right now, including a triage decide at the university of pittsburgh. what's going on? >> here's the latest information we have. two people are dead, another three wounded. police said one of the confirmed dead may be the shooter. the hospital had been on lockdown, but it now says measures have been put in place to secure the hospital and keep patients and staff safe. more details as we get them. pakistan is beginning legal proceedings against the wives of osama bin laden. the widows will be charged with entering pakistan illegally as well as forgery. bin laden's children will not be charged. a few minutes ago we asked you what do jerry seinfeld,
toddlers, people with high cholesterol and mitt romney all have in common? the answer -- they all ate cheerios. >> not much keeps me up at night. i must admit by the end of the day -- >> pretty tired? >> i am tired. i always eat something at the end of the day. my favorite is cold cereal. i try to eat some cold cereal, it puts me right to bed. >> what kind of cereal do you like? we're big serial funnels. >> i like honey nut cheerios and honey nut chex, and of course i love anything with sugar in it. i don't eat as much as the honey nut cheerios. >> cocoa pebbles if it's been a really rough day. >> i know he also likes peanut
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jack's back with "the cafferty file." >> the question this hour is, would you want to be a member of congress? a lot of them are saying the job sucks, and a lot of them are leaving, saying it's become untenable. craig in florida writes, the lowest i -- never been a car salesman or a member of congress, since i like to look at myself when i shave in the morning. i would love to make $174,000. if they think that sucks, let them take one of those newly created obama jobs at mcdonald's or walmart. >> yes, but only if congress started fresh. we need to get rid of the career politicians in d.c., we the people deserve better.
dave in massachusetts -- i'd love to be in congress. i would get a 400% pay increase. i've never seen so many do so little. their situation was mostly brought about by their only intransigence and flat-out unwillingness to do their jobs. mark in florida, no, ultimately the position corrupts. the party will isolate you if you go against the agenda, there's no prestige in it anymore. live is lived in a fishbowl. every vote cast makes enemies. there's a lot of ways to survive financially. a life making promises and supporting the unsupportable triggered send -- this is not a career i would enjoy. robert in north carolina. absolutely. i think i would be perfect. i not very smart, but i can spin a yarn with the best. i have a lot of ambition, but not willing to work hard. then there's that nice retirement and all those
lobbyists. jack, send me a donation and i'll get started on the campaign. make the check out to cash. thanks. if you'd like to read more, we have hysterical stuff. post a comment on our blog or through "the situation room's" facebook page. and you're in "the situation room." happening now, a renown photographer make it out of the syria alive weeks after a brutal attack that killed two colleagues. ahead, his minute by minute account of what happened and the wrenching images he captured up close. chairman of the house intelligence committee weighing in on new signs iran may be trying to hide evident of the nuclear activities. one of the hottest videos online. why a viral documentary could help nab a victorious warlord on the run. we want to welcome our viewers around the united states and the world. all straight ahead, i'm wolf
blitzer, you're in "the situation room." let's begin with syria right now, where there are chilling new pictures that seem to say it all. buildings ravaged, walls riddled with bullets. the besieged city of homs now a ghost town. no signs of life on the streets at all. another 62 people reportedly have been killed today. mean mile, new signs of cracks in the ruthless syrian regime. let's bring in barbara starr. he has the late-breaking details. >> reporter: signs of cracks in the regime, but what happens if the regime cracks apart? cnn has obtained this satellite image taken monday, showing the destroyed baba amr neighborhood
of homs. bashar al assad's forces have pushed almost everyone out. >> he's gaining fill momentum, sir. >> an oil minister defected, some lower-level military as well. american officials say there are indications some elite are trying to relocate family and money. >> they start with a trickle, and then tend to turned into a torrent. >> reporter: for now assad's government is holding. cnn has learned the pentagon is sketching out a potential nightmare scenario, the complete collapse of the asaid government. >> i think the longer it goes on, the higher the risk of implosion, because more and more sunni muslims in syrian military and in the syrian regime have to be appalled at the slaughter that's going on around them. more and more of them will begin to defect and move away from the regime.
>> reporter: the pentagon has a classified list of key sites it might have to protect starting with the huge arsenal of chemical weapons. >> mostly very deadly chemical weapons which can be used on scud missiles to fire hundreds of miles out of syria. it will be a free-for-all. hezbollah and the iranians would try to bring in as much arsenal. al qaeda would try to get its hands on it. >> reporter: missile may be impossible to control. >> can you compare it to the situation we found in libya last year? i know we -- 20,000 man pads disappeared in libya, so how do we compare? >> it's 100 times worse than what we dealt with in libya, and for that reason, that's why it's raised even greater concerns about our ability to address how we can secure those sites.
>> reporter: now that satellite image at the top of the piece comes from the commercial stye firm goi. you even see it in the video right on the street. leon panetta says he believes the opposition is growing, but the question is will it be enough? and will it be in time? >> what happens to all those chemical weapons? barbara, thanks very much. let's discuss what's going on in syria, iran and more with the republican congressman from michigan, mike rogers. mr. chairman, thanks very much for coming in. is that your nightmare scenario, that al qaeda, for example, or iran, hezbollah, hamas or whoever, gets their hold on these syrian stockpiles of chemical weapons? i assume you believe they do have these stockpiles around the country? >> i am highly confidence they have these stonepiles around the country. one of the problems is there are
multiple sites, so it's very difficult for, a, for us to track and b, for us to come up with a plan to try to contain those records. in addition, this is a place that is stockpiled weapons that makes libya look like kindergart kindergarten. they have huge and modern easesed weapons system, with hezbollah to hamas, this is a proxy state for so the weapons systems are more advanced, and there's lots of them. that's very concerning. especially with reports that they're making some effort in syria. it's getting more confusing, not less, certainly in the short term. >> is that true? your access to important information, is al qaeda now entrenched in this opposition to the regime in bashar al assad? >> we have seen intelligence
reports that they are at least making an effort. i don't believe we can say with a high degree -- we can say they're certainly making the effort, have made the effort, and probably successful in some areas. >> john mccain, the ranking republican, he was adamant. let me play this clip. all of a sudden people are throwing around this nothing there may be al qaeda elements inside the opposition to the regime in syria. listen to senator mccain. >> they're not fighting and dies because they're al qaeda. they're not fighting and dies, sacrificing their lives because they're muslim extremists. they're fighting and dying because they want the same university rights and freedom we guaranteed in our constitution. so i reject the argument that we, quote, don't know who they are. >> do you know who they are, who is -- who this opposition is? >> well, i respect john mccain's passion for wanting liberty for
thinks officials. i think we all want that. i'm not quite as sure about who the opposition is. they're not nearly as organized, even as bad as they were in libya disorganized, they're not even that organized in syria. so there's a problem there, and one of the things we learned from libya is, listen, you don't have a game plan when you go into this thing, and they really didn't, you're going to have a problem with weapons systems, not only the chemical weapons systems were very isolated, pretty singular site, kind of had our eye on. we knew where it was and we thought we had a good handle on it. here it's so much different and complicated, then you have man pads, these ground to air anti-aircraft missiles and other munitions that worry us a lot that are everywhere. we better walk into this knowing exactly who's who, who we can trust and who we can't, and we probably should use all of the capabilities of u.s. government before we decide we're going to
go into something like that. >> how good is u.s. intelligence in syria right now? >> it's a very difficult place. i think some days it's better than others. i would put it on the low end side right now. that's one of the our problems with trying to understand who the opposition is, and the different factions. remember, you're not only working with the syrian problem, you have the iranians all over syria, helping them financially, we believe with weapons systems. other nation states are also up to no good. you have a very complicated scenario in syria we didn't see in other places. >> because you've seen evidence lately that iran is beefing up its assistance to the al assad regime. talk about what you're seeing. >> clearly they cannot afford to lose syria. i'm talking about iran. this is their proxy state, their
extension and arm on state-sponsored terrorism. they have used it to support balad, and they've used it to move operatives we believe into iraq that may have been responsible, by the way, state reports said about 600 u.s. soldier deaths. this is an important thing for them. gnome for the reasons of moving those kinds of munitions, but the psychology of controlling a proxy state. so they don't want to let it go. they will do anything, which is why it's difficult to say in three or four weeks this thing will come tumbling down. not quite sure, this is some we have seen, mainly because you had this strong external force who had that iron-fist grip, who is willing to spend money, weapons and blood of the syrians, by the way, not of themselves, of the syrians to hold onto power. that's that mix-up in the equation. we're just not sure how we'll
get through right now. >> there's been some confusion lately about what the assessment is about iran and its supposed effort to try to bet a nuclear bomb. is there hard evidence that the iranians are trying to assemble or build a nuclear bomb? >> i think it's all about parsed words here. there are three different ways they have to get there. they have to develop the missile system. they have to have enretch mint capable to enrich the uranium, so that it's weapons grade that can form and build a nuclear device, and they have to figure out how to weaponize it, how to make it go off and deliver its payload. all three of those programs, i have a high degree of confidence, wolf, are under way. what this whole parsing of the words is, is when they're going to sprint to get to the assembly part of the bomb, but you can do a lot of damage, a lot of
enrichment capable increase, a lot of design testing of the missile programs, and you can do a lot of -- there's other ways other than physically to develop your weaponization program to get you close to the real deal. so the israelis have a different time line, because they argue you could let them get to -- where the united states, at least the current administration is saying, hay, we need to make sure they're going to run that extra mile, and that's where you have this disagreement in a very, very aggressive, it seems to me across the pond political exchange. >> best case scenario, worst-case scenario, how much time in this window before they have a bomb is there? >> i don't think we have long. if you look at it how the israelis see the problem, that time frame is very short. even if we get to the time
frame, you're talking estimates anywhere from six months to 24 months. that's the unfortunate thing, that gap. the israelis argue we can't let them get to a place where we think it's 24, but it's only 6. >> you see can see the difference of opinion there. that i can us very much, representative mike rogers. thanks for coming in. >> thank you for having me. meanwhile, a legendary photographer brutalized in syria, lives to tell the horrifying tale. he's going to take us inside the infamous attack. more advertisers jumped ship in the wake of the growing firestorm. could it put the conservative radio giant's empire in serious jeopardy? supposed so-called soccer mom by day, but by night as alleged soccer mom madam. ahead details on the high prostitution ring she's now accused of running. is this what we're doing now?
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jack cafferty is here. he's got "the cafferty file." >> while it's true mitt romney may have issues with conservatives, independents and the south, there is at least one group besides the very rich that loves him -- senior citizens. michelle writes for "the daily beast" about his surge with seniors, quote -- the bulk may not consider mittens scintillating, but the 60-plus set finds him pretty darn charming, end quote. polls show that they were among his staunchest supporters. in ohio, he beat rick santorum among seniors by 15 points. even in tennessee, he still won seniors. seniors were also key to romney's victories, and they were the only age group that he won in iowa.
looking beyond the national nightmare, senior voters are the only age group where romney outpolls president obama. experts say the old folks like him because he focuses on things they care about, like the economy, and that generally he's more moderate in a field that keeps moving toward the right. even more awkward moments like trying to sing "america the beautiful" play well to the 60-plus crowd. maybe because a lot of them couldn't hear it, but if he's going to be the next president, he has to pick up votes in broader blocs, but remember this -- seniors vote. why is mitt romney so popular with senior citizens? go to cnn.com/caffertyfile, post a comment on go and post on "the situation room's" facebook page. >> seniors vote in much higher percentages than younger people.
ron paul has a lot of young people to support him, but not necessarily translating into wins. if you're running for office in the united states, you want the seniors to support you. they actually show up and do the voting. you know that. >> they vote in much higher percentages than any other group. i am one. i know these things. >> you vote every single election. we know that. jack, thank you. more than 40 advertisers have pull their commercials from rush limbaugh's talk show. making sure their ads aren't running during limbaugh's show ever since he used the choice words to describe a georgetown university law student. cnn's erin burnett is looking into the advertising situation for us. rush limbaugh isn't the only one having troubles with advertisers today. what are you finding out? >> it's been interesting. obviously a very well-known figure, but lesser-known shows
have had problems in part because of the power of social media. a few upset and angry people can have a significant influence. remember all-american muslim that was airing on tlc, it won't have a second season due to ratings, but it was the power of the florida family foundation, run by one man, that -- and names like lowe's pulled their advertising. 2010, "jersey shore" had had some problems, maybe this doesn't surprise you, but in its first season a lot of advertisers were concerned. it was an issue that came up on viacom's conference call. investors were worried it would hurt the company's bottom line. it didn't. advertisers ended up flocking to "jersey shore," but it also had problems. remember that happens over on fox news with glenn beck's show. so it has happened with other shows. even this weekend therefuls a report good christian -- gcb
refers to the book there was a report that the kraft had pulled advertising from that show. abc says not true, the show is fully sold out, but this is something that is happening more and more over the years. >> rush limbaugh has had a hugely successful radio empire. here's the bottom-line question -- is this uproar going to hurt him? >> well, he's a very, very rich man. so even if it ends up hurting him, he should have so much money in the bank that he's going to be rich no matter what. even in terms of the advertisers you're talking about more than 40. but rush limbaugh's show airs in 600 station around the country. he is saying that each of the stations has at least 30 local advertisers, so he has about 18,000 advertisers. so in light of that, 42 doesn't like lie very many. we'll see if it ends up percolating through, but rush limbaugh's contract, he's in the middle of an eight-year deal.
he said $100 million of that was paid out in cash. last year he earned $64 million. so rush limbaugh is a very wealthy man. it looks like as of now he will weather this storm. >> erin will have more coming up later on her show, 7:00 p.m. eastern. we'll watch as we do every single day. erin, thanks very much. >> all right, wolf. afghanistan has long been the world's biggest source of opium, but are members of the country's own air force using cargo planes to run drugs? we have details of a new investigation. she won a million in the michigan lottery. why has the state been giving her hundreds of dollars each month to buy food. stay with us. grows with snow. to keep big winter jobs on track, at&t provided a mobile solution that lets everyone from field workers to accounting, initiate, bill, and track work in real time. you can't live under a dome in minnesota, that's why there's guys like me.
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mary snow is monitoring other top stories, including a key ruling coming out of mississippi. what happened, mary? >> wolf, mississippi's supreme court is barbour pardoned 214 inmates before -- but by a vote of 6-3, the court says the pardons may not be set aside or voided by the judicial branch. the dissenting opinion called it a victory for, quote, lawless convicted felons. there are allegations that -- eight u.s. air force officers were shot last year. investigators now think the deaths may be related to drugs. "wall street journal" reports that at the minimum afghan air force members turned a blind eye. european union is in hot water for making a video similar
to quentin tarantino's "kill bill" movies in which a white woman is surronalded by menacing non-white men. they prepare to attack her before she multiplies, and they all form the flag. now the eu is pulling the flag, saying, quote, they obviously regret it. a michigan woman who won a million lottery prize won't be getting state food assistance anymore despite taking home more than $500,000 in winnings, she was still getting food eight. michigan requires recipients to report a change in income, and she didn't do that. a neighborhood under constant shells. ahead we're taking you inside cnn's extraordinary 72 hours under fire. plus one photographer's dangerous escape from the bloodshed. how he managed to survive.
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peaceful protesters. dozens were arrested. it's just another story of the endless brutality we see in syria every single day. cnn is taking an extraordinary look at the devastation our reporters have seen there in a special documentary running this sunday night. it's entitled 72 hours under fire. >> cnn's arwa damon, neil horsworth and tim are in baba amr, a neighborhood -- where civilians are killed and wounded every day, where a makeshift clinic trying to help. >> reporter: we're here with dr. hamad, who's been on numerous youtube videos, and we're getting a firsthand look of what he and his team are up against, a 30-year-old man lays on the
brink of death after shrapnel hit him on the head. he will die if he doesn't get out. >> reporter: drummed mohammed is only one of two doctors. the other is a dentist. >> he's not front line changed in emergency -- he as an internal medicine, and look at what he's dealing with, the casualties he's dealing with, the kind of casualties he's dealing with, the way he's had to cope, and the fact that it's day in and day out for him. it's relentless. >> article ka is joining us now from beirut. arwa, based on what we know, and i know journalists can't get in there, what's the situation like
in both homs and baba amr. >> reporter: you know, since we left baba amr a few weeks ago government forces have gone in. as far as what we've been able to gather from activists who managed to flee, that clinic doesn't exist anymore. they had to evacuate it before government forces arrived. we did, however, hear that both doctors who worked there did manage to get out, and are now in hiding somewhere safe in syria. but what's especially chilling about all of this, every single person you see in that video, other than those two doctors, we don't know what happened to them. we don't know if they managed to survive the artillery that pounded the neighborhood afterwards. we don't know if they managed to flee in time before government forces arrived. just today, for example, we've been hearing a report by activists that 44 people were sum matterly executed in a field just outside of homs, wolf. as you know, the form ever
secretary-general, now a special envoy, kofi annan is expected to visit syria this weekend. is there any hope at all this visit might make a difference? >> you know, it's very difficult to imagine or see how it could, since so many activists will say this is a regime that doesn't intend to come to the negotiating table. many people will say the window for some sort of political resolution to all of this has closed a long time ago. both sides are more hardened than they have ever been in their positions, and the opposition will not goat with the asaid regime unless asaid and those around him, anyone who has blood on their hands, is somehow held accountable. when you have such a polarized situation, it's hard to see what sort of solution kofi annan will be able to bring to the table following this visit.
ar arwa, thanks very much. an important programming note for our viewers, you can watch the one-hour documentary, it's powerful, it's important, this sunday night, 8:00 p.m. eastern right here on cnn. thousands of people have died in syria. among them some of the most courageous journalists alert. william daniels was one of the lucky ones. he's now telling his story in the latest edition of "time." "escape from syria, one man's journey out of killing fields." >> we know you were with marie colvin when she was killed and the photographer, your friend remi, when he was killed. you have a very dramatic photograph that i want to show our viewers. >> remi was a great, great photographer, just won the world press two or three weeks ago, 28, very young, but very promising photographer. he was a great guy, too.
he was my friend. we are so shocked by his death. >> this is a picture of the street where you and other journalists were holed up for days. >> you can see most of the streets in baba amr are like this even crossing such streets in the day was very, very dangerous. at night it was less dangerous. very sad moment, a baby was hit by -- and you got the picture of this baby holding a
bottle of milk is the baby okay? >> he's fine now. he's fine. the rocket hit his house, and one shrapnel went directly in his face, but he's nine. it looks -- so this baby could be operated quite quickly. xlechblt pictures, the cover story of "time." we're happy, william, you managed to escape. thank you so much for sharing your experience and our deepest condolences for the loss of your friends. thank you very much. >> thank you to you. a 30-minute video has now reached the hands of millions of
people via youtube. it's a trending topic on twitter. we're going inside the kony 2012 campaign and the controversy. and how did a suburban mother of four end up at rikers accused of running a high-end prostitution ring? we have details. it was greek. mmhmm. so is it greek or is it yoplait? exactly. okay... [ female announcer ] yoplait. it is so greek.
an online video has gone viral with, get this, almost 39 million viewers. our own brian todd is taking a closer look. first of all, brian, who is the man at the center of this new video. >> there are two central character, the maker of this film who's gotten more attention for the video than anything we have seen recently, but now
drawing fire for being misleading, and the subject of the video, a violent warlord, who many in the west had never heard of until now. we have to warn this story contains images that some may find disturbing. he's a warlord who experts say is responsible for the kidnapping of up to 70,000 people, many of them children, first operating in uganda. he and his militants have killed and disfigured many, forced girls into sexual slavery and boys into soldiers. his so-called lord's resistance army has been doing this for a quarter of a century trying to overthrow the ugandan government. he's on the run from african forces and their american advisers, but he's getting more attention now than ever. >> stop the rebel group and their leader joseph kony. >> reporter: thanks to a new video, a half hour long, it's
gone viral, ten us of millions of views. the film maker used anonymous and others to blast it out over the internet. they send tweets to celebrities like george clooney, rihanna, american lawmakers. the film highlights his atrocities part think through the eyes of a former child soldier, who according to the video saw his brother murdered. >> i saw my brother once again, i don't -- [ crying ] >> the video is produced by a nonprofit group called invisible children. the film maker jason russell's goal is to gather momentum for kony to be captured and brought to justice. >> he's been getting away from murder. he brainwashes them, makes them kill their parents, slaughter people, cut off people's faces. >> reporter: but some say this popular crusade is misleading. critics say the film manipulates
the fact ignoring the ugandan military's human rights abuses and its war with the lra, ignoring the fact that joseph kony and its forces have been significantly reduced to -- >> we were just saying there before our technical problems that critics say the film is misleading, it ignores the government's own atrocities against villages in this war, it ignores the fact that joseph kony and its forces have been reduced to numb -- the film makers actually deny that. they say it is true they have not launched that many attacks in recent years, but they say it's because of their work. they also deny charges that they're being kind of naive in assuming that white westerners can solve africa's problems. they say they ner purported to do that. they want western youth to do more than just watch this phenomen phenomenon.
40 million-plus hits. >> all of a sudden it's gone viral. >> somewhere around 40 million. >> what do they want people to do? >> right now they want people to keep watching, but on april 20th, they have set up this kit that people can go and online and get. it's called joseph kony 2012, you get a t-shirt. what they want people to do on april 20th is take these posters and say kony 2012, plaster them on street corners nationwide, they say they're going to capture the night, and they hope that people wake up in almost every city and see these posters just to glean awareness for this man. >> 40 million hits. >> 40 million. >> wow. sorry for those technical glitches. it appears sometimes. the men behind is the documentary join piers morgan. jason russell, and ceo of invisible children ben keasey
are on piers morgan tonight. so why is mitt romney so popular with senior citizens? that's coming up. she may not be the average soccer mom she appears to be. why this woman is accused of running a high-end multimillion dollar prostitution ring. his ne. and now i can see everything more clearly. ♪ i can organize the analysis. sort through all the data. maybe even rattle some cages. i predict that i'm going to like the future. because the future is where i'll be serving up humble pie. a la mode. [ male announcer ] at&t introduces the samsung galaxy note. phone. tablet. both. ♪ ♪ [ male announcer ] the dodge journey was made to explore the real world. it has under-seat storage to bring everything, available seating for up to seven people to take everyone, and the grip of available all-wheel drive to go everywhere.
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she's a mother of four who lives in the suburbs, but right now she's staying at rikers. accused of running a multimillion dollar prostitution ring. our mary snow is investigating the so-called soccer mom madam. who is this woman? >> her name is anna gristina. prosecutors claim she ran a prostitution ring with business contacts around the world. they say her arrest follows a five-year investigation. >> headlines lie madam x are splashed across tabloids in an odd case about who may be exposed through her black book. by day a married mother of four, described as a soccer mom, living outside of new york city. by night, prosecutors claim she ran a brothel out of this modest
manhattan apartment house and boasted of making millions. to prove it, this el say, they have hundreds of hours of video and audio recordings. private investigator vincent parko says he's a friend of gristina. she asked him to do background checks. he says she can't confirm if she had call girls confirmed, but he thinks the accusations are overblown. >> it's sexy, makes good headlines, but a lot of the things they're talking about are not true. >> such as? >> that she's a millionaire madam. if she was a millionaire, she would be out on bail now. >> reporter: she remains on rikersite after her bail was set at $2 million. prosecutors requested high bail, arguing she's well connected, and has gone to canada at times to avoid being picked up, adding there have been repeated assertions during have been repd
assertions during the course of the investigation that she has connections in law enforcement who are poised to help her out, to let her know there's trouble on the front that she needs to be concerned about." prosecutors also allege christina enlisted minors, something her lawyer denies. authorities say their five-year investigion ended with christina's arrest as she met with a morgan stanley banker at his office. prosecutors believed she was trying to solicit money for an online venture linking clients and prostitutes. >> and now there's action against that morgan stanley broker tied to christina. morgan stanley saying today that that broker's been placed on leave pending the investigation into his involvement with christina's case, wolf? >> the new york newspapers must be having a field day with this one. thanks, mary, very much. let's get back to jack. he's got the cafferty file. jack. >> the question this hour is, why is it that mitt romney is so popular with senior citizens? he really does quite well with that voting block. j.d. writes "i'm 63, technically
a senior citizen, and i can't stand the guy. for starters romney wants to take away my medical care. and then there's that seamus the dog on top of the car thing. what kind of person does that to an animal? guy who calls himself old geezer "the seniors like mittens because he looks like the game show host they watch all day. they watch the debates and they think it's family feud." joshua writes "because old folks still have honor, integrity and love of their country and are looking forward to replacing the current occupant of the oval office with someone who has those same qualities." david writes "because he isn't black, and let's face it, there are still a ton of old racists white people out there. >> bill in ohio "older folks remember when the two parties were more interested in a better america than trying to destroy each other. mitt represents a middle ground in the republican party that unfortunately has been lost to the conservative right."
larry on facebook "they have him confused with gin rummy." connor in chicago "because of his soothing vocal stylings when singing america the beautiful." dee writes "he's the only one with enough money to cover their social security checks." if you want to read more about this go to the blog, cnn.com/cafferty file or to the situation room's facebook page. this senior citizen will see you on monday. >> have a great weekend, jack. see you on monday inteed. thank you very much. a giant rock making a slow journey to a los angeles museum. jeanne moos is tracking the trek. stay with us. [ male announcer ] the next generation of lexus
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will be giving away passafree copies of the alcoholism & addiction cure. to get yours, go to ssagesmalibubook.com. let's take a look at this hour's hot shots. romania, coal miners protest in favor of a wage increase because of unsafe working conditions. in israel, look at this. people dressed up as clowns to celebrate during a forum parade honoring the salvation of the jews from the pershian. hindus celebrate the festival of colors marking the end of winter. and new england a dalmatian peeks out of its kennel on day one of the competition. hot shots. pictures coming in from around the world. so what's 340 tons and has its own twitter account?
a giant boulder making a slow move to a los angeles museum. cnn's jeanne moos has the story. >> reporter: move over, the rock. because the real rock is coming through. >> and it's like billions of pounds. >> reporter: 340 tons, actually. it dwarfs mere man. >> isn't it big? >> yeah. >> i've never seen anything like that. >> reporter: actually she still hasn't seen it. it's covered in shrink wrap. they're calling it the biggest megamove since the pyramids. the rock came from this quarry in riverside, california, where it's unluckier relatives are turned into gravel but not this bruiser. >> the piece is actually called levitated mass. >> it's destined to become part of an artwork at the los angeles county museum of art but first it has to get there. it only moves at night when roads can be closed and traffic signals temporarily removed.
fans come out to shoot video of it even at 2:00 in the morning. >> here comes the rock making a turn. >> there's a lot of truck and engineering nerds. >> reporter: they want to know that 196 wheels are helping to carry the load. usually there's one truck pulling from the front, two pushing from the back. the speed ranges from 5 to 8 miles per hour. the whole trip of 105 miles is supposed to take 11 days. when it stopped in long beach it was an excuse for partying and puns. >> definitely there's the party going on. they're playing music with the songs rocking it i guess, right? >> reporter: people pose in front of it. people paint it. the security guard made a "that's a big rock" sign to deter people who kept asking, what is it? but sarah cohen was inviting questions with a "ask me" t-shirt. she's from the museum where the rock is headed. >> there was a little bit of trouble making a turn, so we stopped here instead. >> reporter: which is ironic.
because -- the rock of the salvation church with its own rock that must be a little jealous. >> they're the wackiest questions. somebody asked me if it was earthquake safe. >> reporter: it will be because museum goers will be walking underneath. a rock this big can make a kid's imagination run wild. >> i imagine like it's going to knock all the houses down. >> reporter: no houses, but just moments later there was a rubber-necking rear ender. chalk it up to the rock. a rock star queen would appreciate. ♪ we will we will rock you >> reporter: jeanne moos, cnn, new york. >> love jeanne moos. thanks, jeanne, thanks very much. to our viewers that's it for me. thanks very much for joining us. i'm wolf blitzer in "the situation room." the news continues next on cnn. good evening, everyone. i'm john king. tonight the